dreu harrison: dreaming of flight (2003)

Jack Ross, ed.: Spin 45 (March 2003)

dreu harrison, dreaming of flight. Birkenhead, Auckland: Pohutukawa Press, 2002. 48pp. ISBN 0-473-09051-1.

Theresia Marshall of Pohutukawa Press

i remember the taste of peaches
but circles elude me [41]

I’m quoting from ‘flourish,’ a poem where Dreu Harrison speculates about Plato’s taste in breakfast utensils. There’s a point, then, to the contrast between the sensuous taste of peaches (“Do I dare to eat a peach?” [T. S. Eliot]) and the perfect Platonic circle, but it’s not an immediately obvious one. One gathers, too, that it’s to do with the love affair(s?) which preoccupy him through much of the book (“i want you here / for purely selfish reasons”). The direct flashes of experience one gets out of this emotional turmoil provide the strongest moments in the book: “tomorrow there will be / silence / minor apologies and / catholic guilt” (‘judgement day’ [14]). Too often, though, a taste for abstraction and offbeat endings throw away the advantages of this simplicity, this appeal to Harrison’s own feelings and sensations rather than a battery of references to Kepler, Aquinas, Laodicea, and other cosmo/theological footnotes. In its own right, Harrison’s verse is pared down and powerful. If he can only bring himself to abandon the crutch of allusiveness, his could be a talent to watch. The book has been beautifully designed by Theresia Marshall and her team at the Pohutukawa Press.


Spin 45 (2003): 58.

[224 wds]

Spin 45 (2003)

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